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I Guess You Could Call Him A Spokes-Man; Open, if you can forgive the awful pun
Topic Started: Jul 24 2012, 11:51 PM (1,875 Views)
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((Carlyle Shotton: Sandbox Start!))

On a clear day, when the light of the sun reflected off of the water, the rivers of Milwaukee were quite a spectacle to behold. Carlyle had cycled past the rivers many times; on the opposite banks, going the opposite direction as normal, and, once or twice, almost into the water when he wasn’t paying attention. Never once did the sight grow old.

The best part, though, was crossing one of the bridges spanning the river, and being able to see all the way down the river, and the rest of the city beyond. Which was, in fact, what Carlyle was doing. It was fairly early, and there were few people about, so Carlyle allowed himself to pedal just a bit faster than would be deemed sensible. Even if he did come across anyone, he had everything under control. He hadn’t hurt anybody whilst cycling, apart from himself.

Carlyle took a quick glance over the river, feeling the wind in his long hair. He never bothered with a helmet. He didn’t see the need for one, and nothing bad had happened to him so far. Besides, Isobel was almost constantly telling him how thick his skull was.

Carlyle had reached the end of the bridge, and he quickly made a left turn to follow the path of the river, swiftly swerving to avoid a bollard that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He was gliding along the pavement, as per usual, when he suddenly felt a jolt run through the bike. The pedals became loose, and useless, so Carlyle pulled the brake levers, bringing the bike to a standstill.

Carlyle dismounted, grabbing the bike before it could even think of falling over. Slowly, he wheeled it over to the railings lining the side of the river, taking the time to admire the scenery. Leaning the bike against the bars, Carlyle crouched down to inspect what damage had been caused. As he’d expected, the chain had simply come loose. Simple, really. Just a matter of getting your hands dirty. Carlyle smiled as he began to place the chain back onto the gears.
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((Brigid Paxton continued from Beaten, Whipped, and Stirred))

Brigid stretched her arms into the air. It was a nice day, and she figured it would be good to go jogging along the river. It wasn't like there was much else to do at home, just watch TV. Still, this run might give her some good ideas for a TV pilot, so she figured she would run and let the Milwaukee culture give her inspiration.

Okay, let's try to see how far I can get, and how fast as well.

Brigid began running along the river. She continued to scan around the area as she moved along the way.

Right, idea: a family on a house boat that tries to sail around the world. Hilarious adventures ensue. Try not to be racially insensitive. Wait, they couldn't sail around the world with the restrictions on travel. Damn.

Brigid then found herself coming up to a bridge. She noticed a guy on the bridge fiddling with something on a bike. She began to slow her pace down as she tried to look closer at the guy.

"Carlyle?" she asked.
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Carlyle had reattached one chain to a gear, when he heard someone say his name behind him. Still crouching, Carlyle looked round, and saw the owner of the voice, Brigid Paxton. Brigid was generally a chill girl, if rather quiet, with a particular interest in track and jogging; Carlyle guessed that was what she was out so early for. Unfortunately, a lot of people disliked Brigid, partially for her heritage, and partially for reasons he wasn’t quite clear on. Whilst Carlyle wasn’t exactly a fan of being called a hippy, he knew it was nothing compared to being called “Frigid Brigid” by so many people.

“Yo, Brigid!” Carlyle said, smiling as he stood up and wiped his hands against each other, which only caused them to get even dirtier. “Yep, it’s good ol’ Carlyle, at your service. How’s it hangin’? You out for a jog, then?”

Carlyle nodded in the direction of his bike. “Prefer cycling myself, but hey, to each their own, y’know? Only problem is, chain’s come loose.” Carlyle raised his grease and oil covered hands in proof. “It’s easy enough to fix, but I guess it’s just a bit inconvenient.”

Carlyle wondered how fast exactly Brigid could run. He knew that he could definitely cycle at high speeds, thanks to an attitude of “It hasn’t hit me yet, I’ll be cool”. He was pretty certain that in a race between him cycling and Brigid running, he’d probably win. Although, that was only in this general area. If they were on a beach, or in snow, then Brigid would most likely win.

Carlyle absentmindedly ran his hand through his hair, not noticing the black streak of oil he left behind.
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Carlyle seemed pleased to see Brigid. He was generally a nice guy, so she figured it made sense for him to be so happy with her presence. He figured out that she was jogging, which probably should have been clear from the sweatpants and sweatshirt.

Carlyle explained that he was cycling, showing his greasy hands as evidence to his bike problems. Brigid raised an eyebrow at the sight of his blackened hands. She never really worked on anything that could get so greasy, her father would apparently get really greasy at the auto shop he used to work at. But it looked like it was true that bikes could leave grease marks on everything.

That's when Carlyle moved a hand through his hair. Brigid's eyes widened when she saw the black streak in his hair. She slowly raised her hand and pointed.

"Um, Carlyle, you, uh..."

She then tapped the side of her head where the grease mark was approximately. Brigid wondered how hard grease was to get out of hair.
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((Chris Brooks: Sandbox Start.))

Chris had been debating with himself for most of the morning whether he should go out for a run or go fishing since the weather was perfect for either one. He enjoyed both equally but the two activities didn't co-operate with each other. If he went fishing he wouldn't be able to run because of all his fishing equipment and vice versa. The deciding factor had been when Daniel had walked past him in the living room and said that he'd be easy to beat in training if all he did was sit around. So Chris had put on a pair of shorts, shoved his running shoes on and went out running.

He did realise once he got clear of his house that he had forgotten his MP3 player so he'd had no music for the whole of his run and was instead focusing on the rhythm of his footsteps. He had no idea how long he'd been running for but he had ended up at the river. So it had been a decent amount of time since he left the house. He could imagine Daniel walking back into the living room and laughing his ass off at the fact that he had actually gone for a run but Chris didn't care. He'd just have to put up with Daniel when he got back.

As Chris approached the bridge he remembered all the times he had been down on the river bank with his dad to go fishing. When he was younger his dad would take him down to the river bank to fish every weekend he could. It was his way of making up for the fact that he hadn't been around at the beginning of Chris's life and would continue to leave for the crab season. Chris couldn't remember a time when his dad had missed his birthday or hadn't gotten him a present. He always said he'd missed too much of Chris's life and was going to make the most of what every time he was given. Chris smiled at the thought. That was the one thing that meant he'd never be able to hate his dad, it was the commitment and love he gave to his children.

Chris turned onto the bridge and saw two people standing near a bike. As he got closer he saw that one person was crouched over the bike and it looked like they were repairing it. Chris had no idea what to do with bike so he was going to keep on running until he realised that one of the people was Brigid Paxton. Brigid was on the track team with him so he wasn't too surprised that she was out on a day with such nice weather. She was quiet but Chris had no problem with that since he was relatively quiet himself. They got on fairly well with each other and Chris thought they might even be friends, but it was always hard to tell with Brigid because she was so quiet.

The person crouched by the bike was Carlyle Shotton. Chris hadn't had too much interaction with him but he was a laid back and calm guy so he wasn't difficult to get on with. Chris called out a greeting as he slowed down.

"Hey Brigid, Carlyle; what're you guys up to?"
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Brigid didn’t exactly respond in a way Carlyle had been expecting. Rather than talk more about her jogging, or possibly about his cycling woes, something seemed to have surprised her, and she wasn’t being clear with whatever she was trying to say. Carlyle was about to run his hand through his hair again, when he noticed Brigid tapping the side of her head, around about where he’d first moved his hand through.

Looking over his hands, Carlyle saw that the tip of his right hand thumb was about the only thing without any grease on, so he pressed that against the area Brigid had pointed out; after all, he didn’t exactly want to get oil and grease in his-

“Oh.”

Carlyle removed his hand, and looked at his thumb, which now had a brand new patch of dirt on it. After a few seconds, he started laughing, shaking his head in slight bewilderment.

“Believe it or not, this isn’t actually the first time this has happened. Cheers for pointing that out, though.” Carlyle chuckled again, before searching through his hoody and jeans pockets. Normally there was something in there, at the very least an old food wrapper, but as luck would have it, they were completely empty. His mom must have cleared them out the day before.

“Well, that’s a bit annoying.” Carlyle said, a faint tone of irritation in his normally sanguine voice. “This stuff’s easier to remove when it’s fresh ‘n stuff.”

A voice calling out to him and Brigid broke Carlyle away from his search for something to clean his hair. The voice was Chris’, another of Carlyle’s classmates. Chris was generally cool, but the guy had quite a serious temper on him, making him a little unpredictable. Still, he seemed to be in a good mood today.

“Yo, Chris!” Carlyle called back. “Nothin’ much, just a little hair incident. No real biggy, just, uh… d’you have a rag or something on you?”
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Carlyle finally understood what Brigid was trying to explain. She was somewhat embarrassed to tell him he got grease in his hair, but it looked like he got it. Strangely, he took it in jest, explaining how often this has happened. Brigid figured he might be a bit annoyed with it. Then again, he seemed used to it by then, so it was probably like spilled milk.

Brigid heard a voice calling her name out and saw Chris Brooks running up to her and Carlyle. Brigid knew Chris from track team. He was a nice guy, always trying to reach out to her whenever he could. Brigid respected his kindness for that, and so she nodded to him when he approached.

Carlyle asked if Chris had a rag for his hands. Brigid then realized that she should try to help as well. She began to feel around her sweatpants pockets. There really wasn't much she had on hand. She didn't have a phone or any kind of mp3 player, just her wallet with the cash from her recent paycheck in it. She began to search through it when she found an old receipt from a local fast food restaurant. She must have stuffed it in her wallet after getting her change back.

But, it was dated from a few weeks ago, so Carlyle could have it. She held the receipt out to Carlyle.

"Uh, here," she said, waiting for Carlyle to take the receipt.
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Chris slowed down as he reached the pair. It looked like Carlyle had been repairing his bike. Chris might have been able to help him if he knew anything about bikes, which he didn't. So that was that. Chris couldn't help but notice that there was a streak of grease in Carlyle's hair but from the sound of it he already knew about it. Chris searched his pockets even though he was sure they were empty but to his surprise there was actually an unused tissue in one of them. Chris had no idea how long it had been in his pocket but looking over proved that it is was unused. He held it up at the same time as Brigid held up a receipt.

A slight grin formed at the corners of Chris's mouth as he looked between the two items that had been offered to Carlyle. "Looks like we do." He looked over at Brigid a full smile forming. "Track team represent." It felt good to be just relaxing in the nice weather with some of his classmates.

Chris looked out over the bridge watching the sunlight reflect off the river. The weather looked like it was going to hold for the rest of the day. It looked like there would be good weather for the rest of the day so Chris was in no rush to get home. He lent against the railing of the bridge. "So how've you guys been?"
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Carlyle grinned as both Brigid and Chris held out crumpled pieces of material for him to clean his hair with. “Awesome! Cheers, bros.” Carlyle said, taking Brigid’s receipt first, then Chris’ tissue. He dabbed at the grease in his hair with the tissue, then, when there was more black than white on it, he used the receipt to clean his hands the best he could.

Carlyle followed Chris’ gaze over the edge of the bridge and at the sparkling water flowing below. Going cycling in the morning did require getting up fairly early, which was not on Carlyle’s list of Greatest Stuff To Do Ever, but it sure was worth it to see sights like these. Cycling in the evening was just as good; as was rock climbing, when you could see the sun disappearing over the horizon from the top of wherever you’d climbed to.

“ ‘S been good for me.” Carlyle replied, still wiping away at his hair and hands. “Nice and peaceful, just how I like it. Don’t see Hayley much these days, and Isobel’s been staying with friends or something for the past few days, so it’s been pretty quiet at home, which is cool. Haven’t been cyclin’ as much as I could, so I guess that’s what inspired me to do so today, and here we are! Actually, come to think of it, that would explain why the chain came off so easily.”

Shrugging, Carlyle wiped his hair a few more times with the balled up tissue, before angling it down so Chris and Brigid could get a better look at the area.

“How’s my hair looking, guys? Anything still there?”
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Carlyle took the receipt, as well as a tissue Chris offered him. Chris then made a crack about the track team representing. Brigid gave a small smile to that. She saw that Carlyle used the receipt to wipe his hands.

Well, he is using it.

Chris then asked how they were doing.

"Oh, uh, not much. Just school, work, and sleep. Nothing special."

Carlyle informed them how his family was doing. It sounded like he hadn't seen a whole lot of his family members lately. Brigid thought it was sad to not see family. Considering her dad died when she was young, she thought it would be terrible to not have her mother around. She wondered how Carlyle felt about it.

How’s my hair looking, guys? Anything still there?

"It's better," Brigid said. "Might want to shower when you get home."
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Carlyle mentioning his family reminded Chris why he was outside in the first place. It was partly Daniel and mostly Chris's temper but sometimes Chris did wonder what it would be like if he had just a week with Daniel out of the house. It would have saved him annoyance that was for sure. Then again having Daniel around always proved to be good practice for controlling his anger and learning to calm himself down, so there were pros and cons. he was brought back out of his thoughts by Carlyle asking about his hair.

"Yeah I'm gonna agree with Brigid on that one." Chris said with a grin. "Otherwise it'll look like a failed dye job."

Chris was starting to have fun and decided it would be rude not to tell them how he'd been. Especially since he had asked in the first place.

"I've been pretty good too. I wanted to come out but I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go fishing or just go for a run. Then Daniel said I'd be easy to beat if all I did was sit around so I decided to go for a run. Plus my dad's away for another season right now so fishing wouldn't have been as fun without him. Sucks that he has to go so often but he always has time for us when he comes back so it isn't all bad."

When Chris thought about it whenever his dad was at home he always attended his and Daniels matches or went to any track meets that happened to be going on. It only stuck out in his mind because despite the fact he had been on the track team alongside Brigid for a long time he had never seen her dad attend any track meets. He'd never really thought about it, but then again there were a lot of reasons why he might not attend them. The biggest one being he was serving in the military, which made sense so Chris shrugged it off. Brigid didn't talk much anyway so if she hadn't said why she probably didn't want to talk about it and Chris could respect that.

"Actually when I think about it this would count as training. That's a plus."
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“Alrighty, cool.” Carlyle said with a grin, in response to Brigid and Chris’ remarks about his hair. “Showering after a bike ride’s probably a good idea anyways. And hey, if anyone does ask about it, I can always use the ‘failed dye job’ thing as an excuse.”

Carlyle idly dabbed at his hair as he listened to Chris tell them what he’d been doing lately. Apparently, he’d been trying to decide between going for a run and going fishing, something Carlyle didn’t know Chris had an interest in. Obviously, seeing as he was standing in front of Carlyle now, Chris had chosen the former option. Carlyle had never been fishing before, but he imagined he’d enjoy it. It sounded nice and peaceful, although he could imagine not catching anything could wear even his patience thin.

“Dude, just gettin’ up in the morning normally counts as training for me.” Carlyle said, grinning again, in response to Chris’ last comment. “I always tell myself I should enter, like, some sort of bike race, but my cycling schedule is horribly erratic to say the least. Plus, I think I’d just get distracted half way through. ‘Specially if we were all cycling along somewhere like this.”

Carlyle paused for a few seconds, considering whether he should ask the question on his mind. It was rather silly, after all. Then again, there wouldn’t be any harm done if he did. Carlyle decided just to go for it.

“Speaking of, sorta, hear me out here.” Carlyle said, stroking his chin all the while. “You both run races and stuff, right? Who d’you think would win in a race; me, or one of you two?”
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Brigid listened to Carlyle and Chris talking. Both guys discussed their training and interests, with Chris discussing how he chose between jogging and fishing. Brigid never went fishing before. She figured it was something fun to do with family and friends. You sit on a boat in calm water, pulling fish out of the water, and take in the surrounding area. It sounded heavenly.

Carlyle mentioned how he couldn't stay on a cycling training session for long if he wanted to compete in a bike race. That sounded neat. To have such a passive life that you could simply go for a bike ride whenever you wanted.

"Well, I mostly train to stay involved," Brigid said. "I'm on the track team, and I want to stay on, especially if I can get a scholarship."

Carlyle then asked if they could beat him in a race. Brigid held her hand to her chin.

"I don't know. I don't know how fast you are."
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From the sound of it Carlyle led a leisurely life, especially when he considered getting up in the morning training. Chris was always woken up in the morning either by Beth so that they could go running together to train or by Daniel just because Daniel managed to be incredibly noisy when he woke up and Chris still had no idea how. So if Chris was ever able to have a lie in in required both his siblings to be out of the house and that was a rare event.

"Running races is the tracks teams’ job." Chris said in reply to Carlyle's question. It seemed like a weird question to ask two people who he knew were on the track team but Chris didn't think too much of it. After all some people didn't stay on the team too long. They could find it too difficult or they just didn't like it as much as they thought they would. "Plus scholarships help." Chris had actually forgotten about the fact he could get a scholarship for running track, he could also get a scholarship for his wrestling when he thought about it. He made a mental note to look into it more because it was always good to get a scholarship. It made paying for college easier so he saw no reason not to try and get one.

The reason Carlyle asked them if they ran races with the track team became apparent when he asked if either of them would be able to beat him in a race. Brigid asked the obvious question of how fast Carlyle was but Chris was wondering if he was planning something else.

"Are you gonna be running as well? Since using the bike definitely counts as cheating."
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The two responses to Carlyle’s question were ever so slightly different. Brigid raised the point that she didn’t actually know how fast Carlyle was. That hadn’t really been the idea he’d tried to make out, but it did get Carlyle thinking. Man, how fast am I, really? Probably not that fast, not compared to Brigid ‘n Chris, but hey, all this cycling and climbing means I must have some stamina or something, right?

Chris was the one to point out that Carlyle using his bike might possibly be a little bit of an unfair advantage. Carlyle raised his hands in mock resignation, a broad grin on his face.

“Ah, Chris, man, looks like you worked out my super secret plan an’ all!” Carlyle said. “But y’know, seeing as you’re both runners and stuff, surely you’d have some chance of keepin’ up with me, right? Specially if we were all on sand or something. Then we’d all be on a level field.” Carlyle paused, before realising what he’d said and laughing. “Or, uh, y’know… not really.”

Carlyle was about to run his hand through his hair again, before realising there was still a little oil on them and stopping himself just in time. “If I was running, though” Carlyle continued, vocalising his earlier thoughts. “I think I might stand a chance, a tiny, tiny chance-“ Carlyle held up his fingers at this, a gap no bigger than a blade of grass between them, just to emphasise his point.

“-If we were running the 400 metres or something. I mean, with all this cycling and climbing, I think I’ve got enough stamina to keep up with you two. For, y’know, the first five seconds or so.”
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